John A. Sparrow, O.S.A.

1894 – 1953 (September 9)

John Aloysius Sparrow was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on May 8, 1894, to Thomas Sparrow and Mary McPeake. He was baptized at Saint Mary’s Church, Lawrence, on May 11th and received his early education at Saint Mary’s Parochial School. He obtained his high school education at Saint John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, after which he entered Saint Rita’s Hall, Villanova, in the Fall of 1911. He was accepted into the novitiate at Villanova on June 20, 1912 and professed simple vows on June 20, 1913. He made his solemn profession on June 23, 1916, and following theological studies, was ordained to the priesthood in the Passionist Monastery in Hoboken, New York, by Bishop O’Connor of Newark, on May 16, 1918.

From 1919 to 1940, Father Sparrow was Professor of Classics and Philosophy at Villanova College and Saint Mary’s Hall. He also taught these subjects at Rosemont and Bryn Mawr Colleges. In 1935, he was elected Definitor of the Province of Saint Thomas. From 1940 to 1953, he was a professor of at Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai, California. And at the Provincial Chapter of 1953, he was appointed prior and rector of Saint Augustine’s High School in San Diego, California.

Father Sparrow died suddenly in his office in San Diego on September 9, 1953 at the age of 59. A Requiem Mass was held at Saint Patrick’s Church, San Diego, on Friday, September 11, 1953. His body was then brought to Villanova where the Office of the Dead was sung on Sunday, September 13th. The following morning the Funeral Mass was celebrated by Father James Donnellon, O.S.A., prior of the Villanova Monastery. Father Robert Regan, O.S.A. preached the sermon.

Father Sparrow is buried in the Community Cemetery at Villanova.